Why is Branding Important: Turbocharge 2021 by Re-envisioning Your Branding – or Even Re-Branding 

Old westerns have taught us the basics of branding since the beginning of cinema. Ranchers would use red-hot irons to mark their cattle with a distinctive identification emblem as a way to easily identify them as their property. We saw countless rustlers in black bad-guy hats brought to justice when a cattleman identified his stolen herd by their brands.

Over the years, branding has evolved from farmers claiming their property to artisans displaying their mark to take credit for their work, from shops and factories identifying their products all the way to companies claiming their goods and services to be better than their competition.

Even though what we brand, how we brand it, and why we brand it has changed, the process today is still about taking ownership, and it involves more than just property and products. It’s about establishing and owning your company’s identity: the things you value and represent. Ultimately, it’s about your relationship with your customers. 

Should I Stay Or Should I Grow

As discussed in our Aug. 18, 2020, blog on Brand Rewards, building a customer base from the ground up starts with ensuring that customers remember your brand and are satisfied with the services you provide.  

It’s a symbiotic relationship, the interests of customers, and your own prospects as a small business owner. But the ongoing challenge in the business world lies in maintaining that relationship as myriad influences such as increased market competition and pandemic-related health concerns throw roadblocks into our paths to success.

This is why it may be time to think about revisiting your branding strategy for a tune-up to begin the new year… or even consider rebranding your business to update your image to better match the times.

Recharging Your Branding Batteries 

As this challenging year winds to a close, you may be feeling that your brand could use a little boost to start the new year off right. According to marketing consultants at NextPage, five suggestions for getting the recharging process for your brand started to stand out from the crowd.

  1. Study the numbers 

Data can give you the clues you need to get things going. Shrinking margins, pricing pressures, market shifts, slow sales, and shrinking product categories are some of the signs telling you that you should take a hard look at your brand. The caveat here is that it’s possible a new marketing strategy or more thorough market research could solve your problem. Leave no stone unturned when doing the leg work for a rebranding decision.

  1. Listen to your people 

Everyone in your organization has insights you can use. For sales, the answer is in pricing. For operations, it’s quality. Customer service is all about responsiveness. Look for common threads in the answers. If you are hearing the same things across functions, you’ll see a branding or positioning issue.

  1. Listen to your customers 

Have conversations with your customers and ask the hard questions. Ask them what you do well, what is not working, why they are with you, and what you can do better. Ask them if they had a magic wand, what would they fix? When you understand their problems, you can position your company more effectively.

  1. Look at the competition 

Knowing your customer is a good first step, but knowing the marketplace can be even more valuable. If everyone in your field looks and sounds the same, you may need to take a second look at your strategy.

  1. Look at your offerings 

Innovation, change, and improvement are essential for your brand to grow. If your business isn’t already busy with those next steps, your competition probably is.

Remake My Brand 

As time marches on, businesses often outgrow their brand, and change becomes a cost of doing business. According to VIM Group, the average lifespan of your corporate or business identity is 7-10 years. That means if you’re on year five or later, a new branding identity needs to be in the works. This often involves revising old logos or developing new ones, changing color palettes, visual language, and photographic styles, although some companies even go as far as changing their names.

Be aware that this does come with risk. Even the most careful planning and data analysis can fail to resonate in its final form. When Uber rebranded, a full 44% of people weren’t at all sure what their new logo represented. When GAP rebranded they reverted back to their old logo after just one week. 

While there is usually one main reason for making a change, the motivation behind a rebrand project is often a combination of several factors. If you do think a rebrand is in order, there are many great resources that can help you determine the best reasons for doing so. Here are a few of the most common reasons for a corporate rebrand:

Repositioning: Because markets evolve, repositioning can be essential for a company to stay relevant and competitive in the marketplace. A change to the brand positioning and brand promise of a company can have major consequences for the organization. Everything is adapted in line with the company’s updated identity. Additionally, rebranding makes this change visible for all stakeholders.

Changing markets: For some companies, changes in the market mean that their very existence comes under threat. As our spending habits have shifted to the digital world over the past few years, many companies needed to reinvent themselves. A number of brands have gone so far as to close their physical stores to only sell their products online, and websites like Amazon.com have evolved tremendously over the last few years by becoming a completely digital department store.

Outdated image: One of the most common reasons for corporate rebranding is modernization. As trends change over time, brands can come across as old-fashioned if they have not been updated. In the past, brands were often created with more sleek design elements using primary colors and lots of greys. Now, designs are moving towards more use of color and shapes. It may not be the main reason, but a more modern image is often one of the motivations behind a rebrand project.

Digitalization: More recently, digitization is becoming the main driver for brand and logo change. In the past, brands were developed at a time when ‘digital’ played a limited role in the brand application and a corporate identity mainly consisted of a logo, a primary color palette, and typography created for offline expressions. Now, companies have launched renewed logos and new visual identities that fit better into the current digital age. With mobile devices cannibalizing a larger segment of online sales, many businesses are also investing heavily in designing the best mobile user experiences available.

References 

Securing the Goody Bag: How to Celebrate Your Customer and Amplify Your Business with Brand Rewards

BannerBuzz

https://www.bannerbuzz.com/blog/securing-the-goody-bag-how-to-celebrate-your-customer-and-amplify-your-business-with-brand-rewards/ 

5 Ways to Recharge Your Brand

NextPage

https://gonextpage.com/2018/10/25/5-ways-to-recharge-your-brand/ 

Top ten reasons for rebranding

VIM Group

https://vim-group.com/en/blog/top-ten-reasons-for-rebranding/ 

What Is Branding? A Brief History

Skyword

https://www.skyword.com/contentstandard/branding-brief-history/ 

The Ultimate Guide to Successfully Rebranding in 2020

Hubspot

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/rebranding

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